Europe wants to keep building European solidarity and volunteering activities. This is one of the conclusions drawn after the presentation ceremony of the European Solidarity Corps, which took place on Monday, February 11, at the Meier Auditorium of the MACBA, in Barcelona. The purpose of this program? Foster solidarity in Europe through young people who, during a period of their lives, want to volunteer.

European volunteering projects, which cover topics as varied as teaching, health care, social integration or environmental tasks, allow, on the one hand, to enhance the same abilities of the volunteers and, secondly, obtain a positive impact within society. The young participants, who must be between 18 and 30 years old, receive, during their project, accommodation, round trip, food and pocket money. This is, therefore, an opportunity open to all young people and especially recommended to those who need a time of reflection or make a meaningful change.

Although the European Solidarity Corps still does not have the same weight as the Erasmus university program, the European Commission has now decided to increase its relevance and, therefore, its funding: between 2018 and 2020 this program will receive 341,5 million euros, which will allow the participation of 100,000 young people. This decision could be an attempt to curb the rise of Eurosceptic sentiment as well as to mitigate the current cracks in the EU’s humanitarian values.

As emphasized during the presentation, European entities are the backbone of this huge European project, responsible for proposing and coordinating volunteer activities. In this sense, Ramon Closas, the Erasmus+ and European Volunteer Corps technician of the Generalitat of Catalonia, thanked the Catalan entities with enthusiasm for their work but also focused on young people who, as he said, are “the last hope of the social Europe, of the Europe that still beats”.